Godly Play for the elderly: supporting spiritual wellbeing

Stories for the Soul was offered as an additional training day to Godly Play WA’s full core training opportunity over the Australia Day long weekend. Trainer Judyth Roberts was invited by Rev Jeni Goring, Acting Senior Chaplain at Amana Living, and Godly Play WA’s Rev Chris Bedding, to present an introduction to this adaptation of Godly Play at St Mary’s Anglican Church, South Perth.

Godly Play is a Montessori method of Bible storytelling. Research studies in the United Kingdom (UK) into where Godly Play was being used, discovered that there was significant growth in its use in aged care as it was supporting the spiritual wellbeing of elderly and frail people who are often living with dementia.

‘Stories for the Soul’ describe ‘spiritual wellbeing’ as “belonging to a community in which we can be ourselves and our story is valued – where our feelings and emotions, our search for meaning and purpose, our sense of awe and wonder, our creativity, our beliefs and our relationships are supported.” Continue Reading

Dog walking prayer group builds community connections

Victoria Park and Districts Star Street Uniting Church has made a promising first step towards a fresh expression.

Following the first weekend of the ‘Mission Shaped Ministry’ course, church representatives agreed to make our first attempt at practising what we’d learnt, at the local dog park. We advertised a dog walking prayer group on local social media and on Sunday 10 March just two of us with our trusty hounds met and talked with the locals. Continue Reading

Faith Leaders unite for climate action in response to budget

Faith leaders from different traditions in Western Australia have responded to the Federal Government’s Budget by calling for stronger, co-ordinated action on climate change from both Federal and State Governments, as well as industry and the community.

Leaders from more than five religious traditions met in Perth today following the handing down of the Federal Budget, to say that the Budget, as a statement of our national priorities, does not adequately address the climate emergency we are facing.Continue Reading

Match Factory focuses on life after fire

In a devastating blow for the Busselton and Nannup communities, most of the premises of the Match Factory was destroyed by fire on Saturday 16 March. Match Factory is an op-shop and low cost food centre run by Busselton Uniting Church, but it is so much more than that to the many people involved.

Match Factory also provide emergency hampers of food, bedding and clothing to people in need, as well as an important network for both clients and volunteers. Continue Reading

Vision for a just Australia

The Uniting Church in Australia has articulated its vision for a just, compassionate and inclusive nation in a new statement and resource.

In launching the statement, Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, said the Uniting Church’s vision for Australia was a nation where all people and all creation could flourish.

“We believe that our participation in God’s mission calls us toward the transformation that God desires for us all, marked by reconciliation, love, justice, peace, abundance and flourishing for all people and the whole earth,” said Deidre.Continue Reading

Policy change cut Ministers’ retirement incomes

“I remember being taught that if you did something wrong, you should admit it and try to make it right again,” says Rev Neil Wilkinson. “But will politicians follow this rule?”

Neil is referring to the unfair treatment of Uniting Church Ministers whose retirement incomes were slashed by Scott Morrison as Minister for Social Services in the Abbott government in 2015.  The move was touted as reining in “public service fat-cats” who enjoyed generous superannuation as well as some aged pension. The policy change affected the way in which ‘defined benefit’ superannuation pensions were assessed for Centrelink purposes.Continue Reading

Life is sacred, be it short or long

Living can be a full time preoccupation these days.

Alex is anxious about the kids’ lunches, torn school uniform and the rash on the cat. Teenage Roy is torn between sporting practice, hanging out with mates and updating his new My e-Health Record. Jace is juggling part-time jobs with uni studies and keeping up with friends.

Elena and Jorge are busy juggling work rosters (one FIFO), paying off the mortgage, keeping up with a parent in hospital and finishing off a gardening project. Laurie is battling telecommunication hiccups between his new NBN connection and an ageing computer that keeps hanging – whilst trying to juggle medical appointments and an aching body. Continue Reading